The countdown to the Mavericks surf contest is over.
The first of four heats is set to begin at 8 a.m. Sunday.
That's when six of the world's 24 best surfers will ride the monster waves of the infamous Mavericks surf spot near Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay.
The heats will continue for much of the morning and into the afternoon until a winner is declared.
Three of the world's best big wave surfers are not competing. Kelly Slater did not give a reason for withdrawing. Shane Dorian can't compete because of a shoulder injury. Carlos Burle also can't compete due to a shoulder injury. They were replaced with willing participants waiting to ride the waves, so there are still 24 competitors.
"The surfers are going to have some challenging conditions because of the long swell and the offshore winds, the waves are going to stand up really, really tall and then throw out really quick. So it's going to be a challenge for the guys," Mavericks head judge Gary Linden said.
Organizers also downgraded the size of waves they expected to see Sunday. They said they will be in the 15 foot range instead of the 30 foot range as predicted earlier in the week.
Or you can watch a webcast presented by GoPro live beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20 from Pillar Point in Half Moon Bay, Calif.
NOTE: The Mavericks live webcast has been experiencing technical difficulties throughout the morning. Try the backup link above if you have trouble viewing the webcast from the main Mavericks Invitational website.
For more on the Mavericks surf contest: